Q. Fall 2020 Faculty access to physical collections and course reserves

Answered By: Kathryn Ray
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2020     Views: 3

Dear Faculty, 
As you plan for your courses and research needs, we wanted to share with you the many resources and services the library expects to offer to the AU community in the fall. We are working hard to provide access to the materials you and your students need, but as we also navigate these ongoing new realities, there may be delays in processing times. Therefore, we ask that you take this into consideration when submitting your requests.  

Access to Collections: The majority of our collections are available online in an electronic format. We are buying as many of our new materials electronically as are available to us in this way. For access to the physical collection (books, media and technology) users may request materials through the library catalog or by emailing circulation@american.edu and staff will digitize selections (if it is within the limits established by copyright, 10% or 1 chapter), or pull the items and make them available through “curbside pickup” in the front-door vestibule. The “stacks” will be closed to the users because, based on current museum and library literature, each book that is handled should be quarantined for 72 hours.  Onsite staffing in the library will continue to be limited for the fall semester, so please plan ahead as this may cause some delays in service delivery and request fulfillment. 

Course Reserves: We are strongly encouraging faculty to take into consideration whether texts are available electronically when requiring them and to submit your request (books, chapters, and articles) through the Course Reserves button in your Blackboard or Canvas course pages as soon as possible. For those items that are available electronically for purchase with a license for institution-wide use, we will purchase them electronically. For those that are not, if the selections make up no more than 10% of the item, we will digitize and use our normal reserves system. If, however, the book cannot be purchased electronically, with an institutional license, by the library and more than 10% of the item needs to be made available, we will digitize the print book and provide restricted access (can’t download, print, share), mimicking as closely as possible our print reserves process. Due to the nature of digitizing full texts, there may be many titles not available for your students immediately. For more information, please visit our website.  Please get your course reserves requests in early as they will be processed in the order that they are received. 

Media: Many titles are available through our online streaming collection. The easiest way to search for videos in streaming format is to go here. If your class needs to use a video we have on DVD but isn’t available streaming through the AU catalog, please let us know what you need ASAP. We may be able to license the film. If we can’t license a film but it’s available through a subscription service such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, you will need to refer your students to that service if it’s absolutely necessary for the class. Due to the limitations on fair use and the TEACH Act, we are unable to digitize DVDs if low-cost streaming versions are commercially available. If a DVD isn’t available to stream, either institutionally or individually, we will digitize the DVD under the guidelines included in the TEACH Act. 

Interlibrary Loan: We are currently providing scans of chapters, tables of contents, appendices, and more from libraries across the globe to AU faculty, students, staff. We plan to begin requesting physical materials from other libraries once the Interlibrary Services team has returned to campus. Please allow for additional time when placing request for materials from other libraries.  Requesting materials from other WRLC libraries will also resume as those libraries continue to reopen. 


Open Access: If you are interested in using open access materials in your courses, please visit CTRL’s Open American website for more information. 
LinkedIn Learning: Faculty can make LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) tutorials and courses available to their students via Blackboard. As part of any Blackboard course, when working in a content area, the option to add LinkedIn Learning content can be found under the build content menu.  

If you have any questions concerning:

Submitting reserve requests, please contact Donna Femenella, Course Reserves Coordinator at dfem@american.edu

Requesting video streaming, please contact Sean Casey, Media and Technology Services Manager at seanc@american.edu

Accessing electronic resources or library account information, please contact Matt Smith, Circulation Services Manager at  mtsmith@american.edu

Borrowing materials from other institutions, please contact Shane Hickey, Interlibrary Services Coordinator at shickey@american.edu 

We understand that this is going to be a challenging semester for everyone.  The Library will do its best to support you with the typical level of service that you’ve been accustomed to, but that may not always be possible given the current circumstances.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work to make this semester as successful as possible for our students.

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